Are you curious to know how violins are made? Or what makes one string instrument sound different from another? Then let’s visit master luthier Gianmaria in his workshop.
He crafts string instruments in downtown Trento, just one-hour drive from the Italian Alps forest where the Stradivari’s trees live on.
Book a visit at Gianmaria’s luthier workshop on Italian Stories and discover the fine art of string instruments making
If you’re traveling to and around this enchanting corner of Italian Alps, mark Trento on your map. It’s a pleasant stopover on the way to your winter-sports holiday or hiking summer break in the Italian Dolomites.
And while you’re ambling through the city, you might end up in front of the elegant building where Gianmaria works.
Yes, artisans are still practicing their crafts in Italian city centers.
Taking pictures of Gianmaria in his workshop has been a lot of fun. We love his welcoming smile and every corner of his workspace is worth a picture.
Check out the photo gallery below.
“Wood, only wood; and time, a lot. Dedication to the job, blisters and wooden splinters. Tools ‘stolen’ from goldsmiths, dentists, sculptors, and painters.” – Gianmaria
Our first glance around Gianmaria workshop: violin and cello molds on the walls, close to some Egon Schiele prints. Beautiful working drawings. Sharp chisels and offcuts on the workbench. Full instruments ready to go. And a cat, curled up into an old cello – without the top, of course!
Our eyes were engaged, just as our nose.
How many aromas can you perceive in a luthier workshop?
Gianmaria introduced us to the alpine spruce scent, the natural varnish balms, and the chocolate fragrance of burnt maple wood. We also realized that wood tar smells nice.
None of us at Italian Stories is a musician. But we all were curious to know how a string instrument is made. Gianmaria gave us a concise account of the luthier craft’s history and explained the process of making string instruments, from picking the lumber in the forest to the final varnishing and sound test.
What kind of woods are chosen to make a cello, a viola or one of the violin-family instruments? Why do you carve the wood under a bench lamp light?
Gianmaria answered all our questions. What are yours?
Mastering a craft is a never-ending journey. During this spring 2015, Gianmaria is spending a research period in London, working with luthier Philip Ihle. At the beginning of June he’ll be back in town. We can’t wait to hear from him how was living as a Londoner luthier.
Traveling to Trento or Cremona? Meet our master luthiers! See all the Italian Stories experiences and discover all the artisans.
Credits. Photos: Claudia Corrent.